A specialized police unit arrested five suspected sex offenders in Gauteng during Operation Moonlight.
The operation was conducted between February 10 and 14 by the Police Series and Electronics Unit (SECI), a division of the unit for family violence, child protection and sexual offenses.
“The operation was conducted by the national and Gauteng SECI in collaboration with the US Department of National Security (who shared their knowledge in forensic analysis of crime scenes), the National Crime Intelligence Unit for Cybercrime and the Gauteng Forensic Social Services,” col. Police spokeswoman Brenda Muridili said.
The team responded to information received from the cybercrime unit and the original investigation provided information that enabled officers to obtain search warrants.
“The searches were conducted at various properties and five men, aged 30 to 62, were arrested for possession of graphic child abuse material (photos and videos). Several personal computers, hard drives, memory sticks, tablet computers and cell phones containing child pornography were seized, ”Muridili added.
A 30-year-old man, who lives with his parents, was arrested on February 10 in Rietfontein, Pretoria. He appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court and was released on bail. His case was postponed to March 12, 2020.
A 42-year-old man was also arrested in Claremont, Pretoria, on February 10. He is a married father of three. He also appeared in court and his case was postponed to February 28, 2020.
A 62-year-old man was arrested on February 11. He is a married pensioner who owns a day care center run by his wife. He appeared in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court and his case was postponed to February 17, 2020.
A 42-year-old man, who lives with his parents, was arrested on 13 February 2020 in Daspoort, Pretoria. He also appeared in court and his case was postponed to April 8, 2020.
A 34-year-old man has been arrested in Kempton Park. He was previously convicted on a charge of rape and sexual assault and was given a suspended sentence of five years ending March 15, 2020. He is expected to appear in Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
“Another search was conducted in Garsfontein. The suspect was not arrested as no material was found on his premises. Officers seized his electronic equipment for further investigation. The suspect has a pending case from 2020 for possession of child pornography and bestiality. Judgment in the case is expected to be delivered on April 20, 2020. “
Muridili said the accused who had already appeared in court were released on bail of R5 000.
She said similar operations continue nationwide.
“We urge parents to take strict measures to ensure that their children are not attracted by sex offenders on the Internet. Parents should preferably manage their children’s access to the Internet and social media. Parents should also note that WhatsApp and Facebook have age restrictions of 13 years, ”she said.
Anyone with any information about crimes committed against women or children is asked to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or send a tip through the MySAPSApp. All information will be kept confidential.